Reviews

2016 Kia Soul Walk Around


The canted roofline seems to float over the tinted windows, which makes it look less boxy than it is, despite the bluntness of the nose and LED bugeye headlamps. The hood actually looks higher than it is. LED taillamps make a tall statement at the rear.

The blunt nose of the Soul looks even blunter on the EV, because the grille is replaced by a panel with a small door for the charging port.

Interior

The interior of the comfortable Soul features soft-touch materials, ambient lighting, extended front seat cushions with dual-density foam, sporty gauges, controls on the chunky steering wheel, elevated speakers on the dash, and controls on the centerstack that are canted toward the driver: climate, audio, and infotainment controls. A low instrument panel gives the sense of a high driving position.

There’s good headroom and legroom in the rear, but don’t expect to fit three adults back there, because it’s not simply wide enough in any car this size. However two adults will find it easy to climb in and out of the back seat, as well as the front. Kia has done an excellent job of finding space and utility in the small package with stylish exterior.

The rear hatch opens wide, and the seats fold forward with ease. In the Plus and Exclaim, there’s a fold-down center armrest.

The interior noise is a bit high, not reaching the superior level of comfort of the seats. You can hear the engine under acceleration, as if the firewall needs more sound insulation.

The Soul EV is another case, as it ought to be, for that price. It features all these things: leather seats, heated front seats and heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, smart key with keyless ignition, front and rear Park Assist, heat-pump heating and air-conditioning, 3.5-inch OLED instrument cluster, illuminated AUX/USB port, driver-only ventilation, 8.0-inch capacitive touchscreen with rearview camera, and UVO infotainment system with special EV functions; it will search for charging stations, remotely check the state of charge and other vehicle status data, and precondition the interior temperature while the car remains plugged in. A Sun & Fun Package includes the panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting, and speaker lights that pulse to the beat coming from the six-speaker audio system.

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